Orthodontists generally recommend braces to enhance a patient’s orofacial appearance. As a result of orthodontic treatment, concerns like crowded or crooked teeth, underbites and overbites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints can be corrected. If these issues are left untreated, they can result in tooth decay, gum disease, earaches, headaches, as well as speaking, biting and/or chewing problems. Following are 5 reasons why you may need braces.
1. Crowded Teeth
Braces can correct dental problems like crooked or crowded teeth, which, if left untreated, can result in tooth decay and gum disease. A good way to determine if your teeth are crowded is to use dental floss. If you can’t get the floss to slide smoothly between your teeth, they’re too close together (referred to as malocclusion). Teeth that are too close together can make it difficult for dental professionals to effectively clean them. If teeth aren’t properly cleaned, it can lead to plaque buildup, abnormal enamel wear, tooth decay, cavities and gum disease. Several things can lead to crowded or crooked teeth. For some individuals, the mouth is too small to properly hold all of their teeth, causing them to shift and end up crowding together. In other cases, the crowding occurs when the person’s wisdom teeth grow in.
2. Bite Issues
Bite issues can also be caused by a number of things, including if the teeth are too far apart. Missing teeth can also be a problem, as can large gaps between the teeth or having small teeth. All of these factors can impair the functionality of your jaw and bite. Spacing is actually one of the most common problems treated with braces. Overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw position and jaw joint disorders can cause speech related problems, earaches, headaches, chewing and biting issues. To figure out if this is something you need addressed to address, pay attention to your bite. If when you bite down and your teeth align properly (fit together) when you bite down, you’re probably okay. If you notice a significant space between your upper and lower teeth, or if they protrude, you more than like need braces to correct the problem. A lot of people overlook biting issues, but they should be addressed. When your bite is misaligned, your chances of having plaque and decaying food particles build up on and between teeth increase. This plaque and decaying food can lead to dental abscesses, periodontal disease, gingivitis and tooth loss.
3. Speech Impediments
Braces can help eliminate speech impediments by properly aligning your teeth and jaw. Pay attention to how you speak and if you notice a lisp (often overlooked if it’s been a problem for a long time), braces can help correct the problem.
4. Diagnosing Bad Breath
Persistent bad breath, even following brushing your teeth, can be a sign that bacteria is being trapped between crowded or crooked teeth. Routinely getting food stuck in your teeth creates a haven for bacteria and leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Braces can eliminate pockets and gaps in between teeth that trap food particles and bacteria.
Orthodontic problems can be genetic and if good dental habits weren’t encouraged at a young age the symptoms can usually be addressed with braces. If you have children, make sure that they have regular dental checkups because it will help the dentist more precisely determine when they need a minor intervention or a comprehensive assessment for braces.
If you feel that you may need braces, ask your dentist for an orthodontist referral. During your consultation, consult with the orthodontist about the available types of braces and ask any questions you may have about at home and follow up care. In addition, it’s crucial that you follow your orthodontist’s instructions because failure to do so can cause the braces to not correct the alignment of your teeth properly. In addition, you’ll need to follow the prescribed oral hygiene. Taking extra care of your teeth will help prevent decalcification, tooth decay and gum disease and leave you with a healthy, gorgeous smile.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.